GORKHA, NOV 18: More than 42 months have passed since the 2015 devastating earthquake, but the squatters in Gorkha district are still deprived of the housing grant provided by the government. They blame the Nepal Reconstruction Authority for the failure.
Speaking at a function held at Gorkha Municipality on Saturday, Bhagwati Thapa, a squatter, said, “Our houses still have the quake-caused cracks, and we have not been given the grant. We don't know if we will ever get it.”
Thapa's case is just an example. Many of the victims could not get the grant because they were left out of the list of beneficiaries. They say they should have been in the list. According to chairperson of Gorkha Municipality-14, Ram Bahadur Khadka, the dissatisfaction grew after some of the houses were not re-inspected even after they filed complaints.
There are more than 30 complaints registered by people who were not given their housing grant after they were found to be squatters. There are 22 squatters' households in ward 13 and eight in ward 14. A local Sita BK said, “We have been listed as the beneficiaries of the grant. Yet we are deprived of it because we do not own any land.”
One requires to produce a land ownership certificate to claim the grant. After they could not produce the land ownership certificate, the squatters were not provided the grant.
Local Dhan Kumari Panth says she was deprived of the housing grant because she was the only woman in her household. All of the households have complaints about the lack of technology to check if the newly made houses are earthquake-resistant and give ideas on proper construction.
Engineer of Gorkha Municipality, Prakash Dhakal said that the earthquake victims will now be able to send the details through the ward office for re-inspection for the housing grant. He said, “The government will provide Rs 200,000 each to them. They should now start collecting Rs 300,000 each on their own in order to rebuild their houses.”